Skip to main content

Indianapolis 500 Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 10:20 AM EST, Thu November 6, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's a look at what you need to know about the Indianapolis 500 which is held on Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana.

May 24, 2015 - The 99th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

May 25, 2014 - Ryan Hunter-Reay wins the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Other Facts:
During the race, the cars go 200 laps around the 2.5-mile track, equaling 500 miles.

The track's current dimensions are much the same as when it was constructed in 1909.

With more than 250,000 permanent seats, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world's largest seating facilities.

The race is among the world's best-attended single-day sporting events. It drew crowds of over 400,000 during the 1990s.

Currently 33 cars start the race in rows of three - In the past there have been as few as 21 (1916) and as many as 42 (1933).

With 35 starts, A.J. Foyt Jr. has the most starts of any driver.

Three men have won the race four times: A.J. Foyt Jr., in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977, Al Unser Sr. in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987 and Rick Mears in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991.

The youngest winner is Troy Ruttman. He was 22 years, 80 days old when he won the 36th Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1952.

The oldest winner is Al Unser Sr. He was 47 years and 360 days old when he won the 71st Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 1987.

Since 1936, tradition holds that winners of the race celebrate with a bottle of milk (with the exception of 1947-1955).

Race record time (200 laps/500 miles) - Arie Luyendyk, May 27, 1990; 2 hr., 41 min., 18.404 sec.; average speed was 185.981 mph.

Timeline:
1906 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is founded by Carl Fisher.

February 9, 1909 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway track is built when 328 acres of farmland northwest of Downtown Indianapolis are purchased by Fisher and his partners Jim Allison, Frank Wheeler and Arthur Newby.

August 19, 1909 - The first race takes place. 12,000 are in attendance.

1911 - The race has been held annually since 1911, except for the war years 1917-18 and 1942-45.

1945 - The track is sold to Anton Hulman Jr.

1996 - Indy Racing League begins.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT